Pearson Explains How Tests Are Created

How are tests created?

Did you know that it can take up to three years to develop a standardized test?
You may be thinking, “Why so long?”

Thousands of experts and educators work together on a thorough and detailed process to create tests that are fair and accurate.


State Standards

Each state sets standards that determine what students are responsible for learning and demonstrating.

Federal and state laws require that students are tested annually to see how well they’ve mastered subjects like math, reading, and science.


Test Creation

Education professionals, including many former teachers, work together to create tens of thousands of test questions that measure how well students have achieved the state standards.

Review Process

Teams of local educators examine each test question multiple times to review accuracy, quality, potential bias, and alignment to the standards.



Question Validation

Each question is field tested to make sure it’s fair and appropriate for the grade level.


Test Distribution

Different types of questions that cover the state’s required curriculum are brought together to form the full-length assessment. Each state determines whether to use a paper or digital version of the test.

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Test Administration

Schools administer assessments in accordance with state policy.


Each state determines the reporting process by which parents, educators, and administrators receive and use test results.


Why are tests important?

Although testing is only one measure of student progress, it is crucial because it provides objective, meaningful feedback.


Parents can better understand and advocate for their child.


Teachers can personalize instruction to meet each student’s unique needs.


Administrators can better direct resources and support.

Together, we can all ensure that every child has equal access to a quality education.


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